Embrace the challenge, don't fear it
By Rob Kershaw
Having first joined Parkway as a 20-year-old, Ryan Lane has established himself as one of the favourites over the years.
Could he have predicted that the club would now be enjoying the heights of the Southern League Premier Division South? He was hopeful but having moved up two levels of the football pyramid in the last four years, Parkway is a club on the up.
As is Laney; the left-back spent some time plying his trade over at Willand after he came to Bolitho from Plymouth Argyle’s youth ranks, and he has become an integral part of Lee Hobbs’ starting 11 over the years.
You could very much call him Mr reliable, and you can now call him vice-captain after he took on that role over the summer.
He started against Argyle in our 2-2 draw on Saturday as the boys kicked off pre-season, and a result like that is bound to instil a sense of optimism in the group.
“It was a good result,” he said.
“I’ve played that time for five years in a row now in pre-season, we’re usually on the end of a not great result whether it be 5-1 or whatever it was last year.
“Usually, they put a few more past us and create a few more problems for us but this year we seemed to have a bit more control, [we were] a bit more solid in our shape which, for the first game of pre-season, I thought was really good.
“If we didn’t make those changes and give other people minutes, we could have gone on to maybe get a victory.”
As for this weekend at Torpoint, winning is always a great feeling, but the bigger picture is fitness going into another busy season.
“I think it’s just the same as it always is in pre-season,” explained Lane.
“The main think is the fitness and minutes in the legs and also just getting used to what your teammates like, what they don’t like and how you’re going to play with them for the rest of the season.
“I think the main thing is that [it’s] always nice to get the victory but not the main thing; the main thing is just getting those minutes.”
As for what the team can achieve in their new surroundings, Laney is “optimistic” that it can be another good campaign.
“It’s early to say,” he added.
“Time will tell… last year I probably wouldn’t have said we were going to win the league.
“I thought we had a chance, but I wouldn’t have called it after the first game of pre-season so yeah, optimistic!
“I think Lee’s signed well, I think the additions he brought in have hit the ground running in terms of gelling with the team, good personalities signed so, yeah, I think we can do well.
“Obviously it is a step up, and it is probably a bigger step up so yeah, I’m optimistic and just get the first season out the way really and just hit the ground running.”
As for the phenomenal progress in the last five years, the full-back had faith in the project he was signing up to.
“I knew the club had the ambition to get this far,” affirmed Lane.
“And I thought five years was an optimistic timeline; I thought it was possible, but I just thought that… everything would have had to go our way which it turns out it has.
“But I thought everything would have to go our way to really get… three leagues up in five years is some ask but we’ve done it and it’s just now about not fearing the league, not thinking ‘we’re going to struggle.’
“There’s a lot of experience in the team, lots of lads who have played in this league so I’m just looking forward to getting started now and making a good crack at it!”
Ryan Lane is sponsored by Gavin & Graham Lloyd